Simply take into consideration a trip to Tuscany by which you visit gorgeous scenery by day and retire to your elegant villa.
Now take that one step additional and picture finding the identical experience only a few hours' drive from L.A. or the Bay area. The Paso Robles Wine Country is fast changing into simply such an alternative for sophisticated travelers who are sometimes shocked to search out such an beautiful getaway so near dwelling.
To make sure, Paso Robles shouldn't be going to develop into a world-class destination like Tuscany anytime soon ? as a substitute of properly over a thousand wineries in Tuscany, you will find nearly eighty in the Paso Robles space. And the overnight lodging in the instant area are limited compared with, say, the Napa Valley. Still, there are numerous inns and lodges inside an hour's drive in places like Cambria, Pismo Seashore and San Luis Obispo and, after all, the nearby Pacific shoreline is an attraction all of its personal.
Fortunately we found the perfect complement to touring the local wineries ? a unprecedented hotel referred to as the Carlton that has just been fully refurbished and re-opened for enterprise in March 2005. This hotel is located in the coronary heart of the wine nation, taking up the higher part of a metropolis block in quaint downtown Atascadero. The first impression is the lodge virtually seems misplaced ? it's just as upscale because the best Napa lodgings, yet the city of Atascadero is a simple, laid-back every-day small town with nary a designer clothing store in sight.
The Carlton Hotel is a "boutique" resort, capitalizing on the rising popularity of boutique lodgings both in major cities and ? with the Carlton as a working example ? typically out in the hinterlands. The term has come to symbolize luxurious and the next level of personalized service than many larger hotels. Just like the Carlton, most boutique accommodations pay quite a lot of consideration to detail and target enterprise vacationers in addition to affluent leisure travelers.
The Carlton initially opened in 1929 and was a magnet for celebrities similar to Jack Benny, Bette Davis, Fred McMurray and Dick Powell. The getting older hotel was not too long ago renovated by native entrepreneur David Weyrich with the idea that it would reclaim its previous glory by creating 52 individually designed guestrooms with such features as marble loos, deep whirlpool baths, outsized bathtub towels, high thread-count cotton sheets ? well you get the image.
From the second we walked into the hotel, the sensation was extra like a swank downtown San Francisco resort than a rustic inn. Our guestroom seemed regal ? period furnishings decorated the spacious inside whereas the luxurious draperies and bedding added to the upscale feeling. An outsized bathtub space provided both the whirlpool tub and shower and a dressing space bigger than most. In abstract, the Carlton has added the special touches that separate the "good" accommodations from the really "luxurious" lodgings.
But we digress. The resort was a pleasant shock for us, but guests come to Atascadero and close by Paso Robles primarily for the stunning mixture of wineries and picturesque scenery. We explored the rolling hills of each aras, finding wineries of all sizes. We most likely are a bit uncommon ? we take pleasure in simply visiting the wineries and chatting with the vineyard employees and don't make a point to taste in each winery we visit. But we did style a couple of and located that the wine tastings have been usually free in contrast with different regions we have visited where every winery charges for the service.
Native winery maps will show you how to quite a lot as you seek out the wineries ? really they are something of a necessity considering the rolling hill topography and many country roads. Our preference was to read by way of the native vineyard guidebooks and select wineries that seemed especially fascinating ? then go directly to these. Perhaps it might be more environment friendly to start out driving and just stop at the wineries in your way. Both manner, there are wineries right here of all sizes, from bigger corporate entities to Mother and Pop operations which are little more than a